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Archive for category Asif Haroon Raja (Retd):Pakistan Army

Change in Direction of Wind-India-Pakistan antagonism by Brig(Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

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Change in Direction of Wind

 

India-Pakistan antagonism

 

Asif Haroon Raja

The notorious Narendra Modi nurtured by the RSS had earned infamy due to his disgraceful role in the demolition of Babri mosque in Ayodhya in 1992 and the massacre of 2000 Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 when he was the State Governor. The US and the West declared him a terrorist and denied him a visa.  However, when he took over the rule of India in June 2014, all his sins were pardoned. Soon after, he started flexing muscles against Pakistan. On a flimsy pretext as to why Pakistan’s High Commissioner in New Delhi had hosted a dinner for the visiting Kashmiri leadership in August 2014, which had been a norm, he adopted a belligerent posture. After giving marching order to Pakistan’s envoy, he directed the Indian Army deployed in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) to heat the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary (WB) in Kashmir in contravention to the 2003 ceasefire agreement.

From September 2014 onwards, the intensity of firing across the LoC and WB was gradually increased under a calculated plan. The martyrdom of Kashmiri freedom fighter Wani in IOK in July 2015 revitalized the freedom struggle, which gave an excuse to Modi’s BJP regime to step up atrocities against the Kashmiris. All previous records of state terrorism and human rights violations were broken. Pellet guns were used for the first time to blind the children and the unarmed youth taking part in protest marches peacefully.

To force Pakistan not to extend diplomatic, political and moral support to the Kashmiris, a propaganda war was geared up to paint Pakistan as an abettor of terrorism in India and Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). To further maximize pressure, a covert war that had been initiated from Afghan soil in 2003, was accelerated and water terrorism was up-surged as an additional tool to cow down Pakistan. False flag operations, the threat of surgical strikes, induction of sophisticated war munitions, and heavy buildup of conventional forces and nuclear strength were other pressurizing tactics.  

Internally, BJP became the torchbearer of Hindutva. It started destroying democratic institutions and secular values pursued by the Congress, fomented fascism and became intolerant towards other religious minorities in India. Religious and press freedom and independence of the judiciary were undermined. Modi declared his intentions to revoke the special status of IOK. To change the demography of IOK, he started constructing new colonies for the retired army personnel and Hindu Pundits. However, he couldn’t make constitutional changes to make IOK an integral part of India since he didn’t have the requisite majority in the Lok Sabha.

To gain a two-thirds majority in the May 2019 elections, Modi in consultation with his patrons executed a false flag operation in Pulwama on February 14, 2019. In the engineered suicide attack, 44 Indian soldiers died and the blame was promptly put on Pakistan. Indian media created war hysteria and the event was made a pretext to launch an air attack in Balakot on February 22. The incursion backfired, but Pakistan took revenge by giving a befitting response on Feb 26-27 which humiliated the Indian air force and raised the stature of PAF sky-high. Irrespective of the huge setback, Modi succeeded in garnering Hindu votes and sweeping the elections.

After returning to power with a heavy majority, Modi’s first major action was to rescind the special status of IOK by annulling Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution on Aug 05, 2019, and bisecting IOK into two Indian Union Territories. Soon after, 8 million Muslim Kashmiris residing in the illegally annexed region were locked up in their houses, curfew was imposed, and they were subjected to the worst atrocities. Youth were slaughtered or put in torture cells and the women raped. This gory practice is still going on with a vengeance to break their will to resist. The hawkish senior civil and military Indian leaders didn’t stop there. Drunk with power, they threatened to annex GB and AJK and break Pakistan into four parts. Hardly a day passed without unprovoked firings by Indian forces across the LoC and WB in violation of the 2003 ceasefire agreement, killing and injuring civilians living in the close vicinity as well as soldiers. Even villages were not spared.                      

From 2009 onwards, after India blamed Pakistan for the Mumbai attacks and impulsively suspended composite dialogue, Pakistan has been bending over backwards to renew talks with India, but India showed no interest and not only kept notching up its bellicosity but also made terrorism a precondition to restart talks. Pakistan never picked up the courage to state the fact that India is the biggest terrorist state in the region and has created issues with all the neighbouring states in South Asia.

Modi was urged repeatedly to stop the madness but he turned down all peaceful gestures and pursued the path of hostility relentlessly. The constant low-intensity conflict along the LoC together with the absorption of IOK by India upped the temperature to a boiling point and it was feared that open war was round the corner.

 

 

The foreign paid proxies that had been flushed out from FATA and Baluchistan in 2015 were once again regrouped and rejuvenated by RAW and proxy war was stepped up in the two conflict zones.

Apart from Pakistan’s nuclear program, which is an eyesore for India, the USA and Israel, CPEC has become another irritant for the trio. The three strategic partners are determined to disable the nuclear program and to scuttle CPEC at all cost. 

Under the obtaining highly tense geo-political environment hope for peace between India and Pakistan soon was slim. People were keeping their fingers crossed as to when India will further up the ante.

The sudden news of hotline talks between the Army DGMOs of the two countries last month resulting in a ceasefire along the LoC and WB wef 25 February came as a big surprise. It was difficult to believe the national security adviser to the PM Moeed Yusaf who stated that no backdoor channel took place. Since then the volatile LoC and WB are peaceful.

The next development was the offer of peace to India by Gen Bajwa during the security conference in Islamabad this month. It was followed by a letter from virulent Modi to Imran Khan wishing him and the people of Pakistan good wishes on the occasion of Pakistan Day on March 23. A meeting on Indus Water Treaty was also held in Delhi in a friendly environment. Indian troops are expected to take part in joint drills of SCO countries organized by Pakistan. It is speculated that the SAARC Summit which is held in suspended animation since 2016 due to Indian obduracy is likely to be renewed and the next summit will be held in Islamabad and Modi may attend. If so, it will change the whole dynamic.

Let us make an appraisal as to how come this sudden change of heart took place and that too secretly and mysteriously. In my view, another round of hypocrisy is ready to take off and soon our media would spread the news about the success of backdoor diplomacy and the role of our friends in melting the ice of antagonism. Media channels will splash breaking news that a great breakthrough has been achieved and things would soon get back to normal between the two arch-rivals. The government and its allies would claim it as their diplomatic triumph while their fans would get engulfed in ecstasy.

This kind of euphoria is an old phenomenon. Whenever India finds itself in trouble, or it has a sinister plan up its sleeve, it offers a hand of friendship and our leaders readily and excitedly clutch the offered hand saying let bygones be bygone and let us give peace a chance in the overall interest of the two countries in particular and South Asia in general.

In this regard, I would like my friends to recall the peace treaty signed with India on January 4, 2004, and the period till Nov 26, 2008, when we were in a state of euphoria, flying kites that all our core issues of Kashmir, Siachin, Sir Creek and water would be resolved through a composite dialogue. LoC was silenced. But India had a different plan.

Under the guise of peace and friendship, it fenced the whole length of the LoC and Pakistan helped India in subduing the freedom movement in IOK. Getting rid of the threat of Kashmir which had become a bleeding wound for India, RAW launched the biggest ever covert operations from Afghanistan to bleed and destabilise Pakistan and make it a failed state.

From the eastern front India launched a cultural invasion in Pakistan with a focus on the smaller provinces and the younger generation, to popularise India as the most powerful state in the region, glorify Indian armed forces, promote Indian secularism and liberalism through movies, songs, dance, music, fun and frolic, spread obscenity, demonise Islam and Islamists, make settled issues controversial, create divisions, inject doubts and misgivings against the state premier institutions, and remove the sting of jihad. RAW made inroads with the help of people-to-people contacts and confidence-building measures.

Much of it was achieved with the help of Pakistan media, NGOs and liberals and organisations like Aman ki Asha and SAFMA. To maximize pressure on Pakistan, India started building dams on our three rivers as it resorts to water terrorism.

While pretending to be friends, India put all the acts of terror in India and IOK in the basket of Pakistan. This facade of friendship was torn apart by India after it conducted a false flag operation in Mumbai in Nov 2008, suspended composite dialogue abruptly and from that time onwards adopted an extremely aggressive posture which was taken to new heights by Modi from Sept 2014 onwards. He never minced his words while stating his sinister objectives against Pakistan. On several occasions, he and his hardcore lieutenants have been threatening to deprive Pakistan of a single drop of water and to fragment Pakistan. A product of RSS, he nurtures pathological hatred for Muslims and Pakistan.

Historically, our leaders, both civil and military, starting from the great Quaid-e-Azam have been extending a hand of friendship to India and urging it to live as peaceful neighbours, but India not reconciling to the existence of Pakistan rejected the gestures. The main bone of contention was and still is the unresolved Kashmir dispute, which India will never resolve following the wishes of the Kashmiris and the UN resolutions. Talks were a mere gimmick to buy time and absorb IOK into Indian Union, which it did on 5 Aug 2019.

India never let go of any opportunity that came its way to harm Pakistan. Conversely, Pakistan never availed of the opportunities, or whenever it did, the plans were executed poorly. Our successive regimes have remained under the illusion that their defensive policy clothed in one-sided appeasement would make Pakistan safe. India has inflicted tens of thousands of cuts on the body of Pakistan since 2003 and has cleverly portrayed itself as a victim and Pakistan as an abettor of terrorism. India succeeded in selling its false narrative to the world since Pakistan made no effort to build a counter-narrative to put the record straight. All its acts were reactive and apologetic.

Today India is up against the most difficult times both on external and internal fronts. Never before India faced a potent twin threat from China and Pakistan, and never before Indian society was so deeply divided. Never before Pakistan spoke so boldly against India to expose its wrongdoings. India’s ugly face has been exposed to the world for the first time after the arrest of Kulbushan followed by leakage of misdoings of Srivastava Group and Goswami WhatsApp chats. Never before, it was so sharply criticised by world bodies including the EU over its massive human rights abuses against Indian minorities and Kashmiris. Visas have been denied by Canada to its senior military and civil officers involved in human rights abuses. Snakes in the grass in Pakistan milked by India are being systematically crushed.

Pakistan has got out of isolation mainly due to CPEC, which has become a magnet to pull all the landlocked Central Asian States, South Asian States less India and Bhutan, West Asia. Middle East, Africa and Russia. If the Taliban take over, Afghanistan will also join CPEC. Iran is inclined to make Chahbahar complement Gwadar. Pakistan’s macroeconomics have begun to show improvement and the value of the rupee has improved.

The US is in no position to extract any concession from the Taliban or to pull out safely without the cooperation of Pakistan. Pakistan armed forces have emerged as the strongest and most battles hardened force of the world and have earned kudos from the world. These are happy tidings for Pakistan and the only thing it has to do is to put its house in order which is presently in disorder due to the Govt-PDM clash, rising inflation and price hike. There is a need for a national dialogue to cool down the political temperature.

Modi’s fascist and racist policies have backfired and have made all the Indian minorities including the Dalits hostile and they have become defiant. Kissan Tehrik, Khalistan and Naxalite movements, and the freedom struggle in J&K have become existential threats to the security of India. Never before India suffered such humiliations at the hands of the PAF and China’s PLA and it couldn’t do anything to wash out its embarrassment. Much to Modi’s chagrin, its chief patrons USA and Israel didn’t come to his rescue.

India’s huge investments in Afghanistan and covert war against Pakistan seem to have gone down the drain. CPEC which has the potential to make Pakistan self-reliant couldn’t be scuttled and India’s plans to annex GB have been disrupted by China. Hopes of Indo-US-Israel nexus to convert Ladakh into the biggest military station have dashed. Not only Afghanistan but Iran has also slipped out of the hands of India.

While India’s chief patron USA is a descending power engulfed in multiple crises, its chief rival China is the ascending power and the future superpower which has become a strategic partner of Pakistan with common security interests. The story of the USA as the giant and China as a minnow has become redundant and today both are equal competitors.

Shining India’s rising economy has plummeted due to Covid 19 and its GDP has dipped into negative. For all practical purposes, democratic norms and secular values over which India used to gloat have been overtaken by fascism and racism. Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and NRC Bill have alienated the minorities of India particularly the Indian Muslims who are worst affected. Delhi riots in February 2020 followed by a mass movement of the Muslim women in Delhi against the CAA gave a glimpse of the deep-seated hatred of the largest minority against the Hindutva lovers.

About two million Indian security forces are engaged in counter-insurgency operations all over India and IOK for the last so many decades and not a single insurgency or separatist movement could be quashed. The Indian Army particularly the lower ranks are in a state of demoralization due to social discrimination, maltreatment by seniors and misusing them extensively to kill their own citizens. Modi has lost his popularity, his smiles, his stupid hugs, and in frustration is growing a long beard.

India had got a chance of the century in 1971 as quipped by Subramanian and it cut Pakistan to size. Today Pakistan has got a chance of the century to avenge its humiliation and settle the long-standing Kashmir issue. Today, China is also an equal stakeholder in J&K and collusion with Pakistan and freedom fighters in IOK, is well poised to dictate terms to India.

Instead of making productive use of this great opportunity, we are once again inclined to return to the futile talks and to normalise relations with the most cunning and treacherous India which follows the philosophy of taking only and not giving an inch. It has a big role in keeping Pakistan politically unstable and economically weak. Under no circumstances it can see Pakistan prospering.

The sudden change of direction of the wind has not happened on its own. Modi dared to annex the disputed Indian Occupied Kashmir without the tacit approval of USA and Israel and then stuck to it adamantly. India accepted China’s intrusions across the LAC and sued for peace since it is in no position to strike back and forcibly retrieve its lost territory. After the 1962 debacle, the Indian military has once again acted timidly against China’s aggression.

India would not have ceased firing along the LoC last February if its house was in order and it was not faced with twin threats. Modi would not have written a letter of felicitation and desired cordial relations with Pakistan without a nudge from Joe Biden. Pakistan would also not have accepted India’s offer of a ceasefire and talked of peace on its own. The USA is the only country that can dictate terms to India as well as Pakistan.

Both the US and India are sailing in choppy waters. Biden would not affect any changes in the overall global policies but would execute them in his own ways and for that, he needs a breather. The moment the US and India sail past the rough patch, they will recommence their old monkey tricks.

Pakistan cannot afford to sing the peace mantra and hope for reopening fruitless talks with India without first providing relief to the 8 million Kashmiris going through hell. Without India restoring the special status and stopping the reign of terror perpetrated upon the Kashmiris, and closing its terror infrastructure in Afghanistan, Pakistan should not agree to reopen talks.

In concert with China, Pakistan is in a position to put pressure on India to agree to these preliminaries before restoring diplomatic ties and then embarking upon wholesome dialogue for the settlement of the Kashmir dispute. Pakistan must play its cards shrewdly and intelligently and must not get duped once again. Time is on Pakistan’s side.

The writer has retired Brig Gen, war veteran, defence & security analyst, international columnist, author of five books, his 6th book under publication, Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre. asifharoonraja@gmail.com




        

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Obtaining situation in Afghanistan Asif Haroon Raja

Obtaining situation in Afghanistan

Asif Haroon Raja

The US-NATO-ANSF military operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan have been going on since October 7, 2001 relentlessly and have now reached a stalemate. For all practical purposes, the US had lost the war after it pulled out bulk of 150,000 ISAF troops in December 2014 and allowed its chief foe Taliban to gain initiative and an upper edge in the battlefield. The US is however refusing to accept its defeat and is prolonging its stay.

After abandoning boots on ground strategy and relying on airpower and weak Afghan National Army, the occupation forces are locked up in 8 military bases with limited freedom of action. The 3,52000 strong ANSF have suffered extremely heavy casualties since 2016. On average, their casualty rate has been 5000 per year.

 

The occupiers are in a quandary since they can neither convert their defeat into victory, nor can contain the Taliban offensive, or can pressurize them to ceasefire and sign the peace deal on their terms. They are caught in a quagmire of their own making in which they can neither stay for long, nor can they curtail casualties, or can pullout and exit safely and honorably. They are surviving on the logistic routes provided by Pakistan and are also dependent upon Pakistan for their departure.

 

The songs of human rights, women rights, fruits of democracy have all evaporated in thin air. And so has the bloated arrogance over its invincibility after the US agreed that political solution was the only viable option to restore peace and for that purpose sat across the table to hold talks with so-called terrorists and beseech them to ceasefire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Taliban having gained initiative and a decisive military edge over the occupiers and collaborators in 2015, are constantly attacking high value targets all over the country and are constantly gaining space. No respite was given during the nine rounds of peace talks. In the last session at Doha, all friction points had been settled and Trump had extended an invitation to the Taliban leadership to sign the peace agreement at Camp David.

The peace process was however, halted after Trump abruptly canceled the meeting scheduled on 11 September, 2019 on a flimsy excuse of death of one US sergeant. The spoilers once again succeeded in derailing peace and letting the orgy of bloodshed to continue. Disruption of peace process didn’t bring any change in aggressiveness of the Taliban and they continued to strike targets and draw blood. Major victims of the firefight between the two rivals are the ordinary civilians whose death rate has increased significantly.

Presidential election was held on 28 September despite disturbed security situation but the results have so far not been announced due to widespread irregularities. Political uncertainty favor the Taliban and disfavors Ashraf Ghani.

In October, Zalmay Khalilzad was once again sent to renew talks and his efforts helped in swap over of prisoners and to lower tensions. In November, one American and one Australian in captivity of Taliban were freed in exchange of three Taliban prisoners including Anas Haqqani detained in Bagram jail. However, the month of November proved costly for Americans; 19 US soldiers died in combat. Trump made an unannounced visit to Bagram airbase on 28 Nov. While addressing the troops he reaffirmed his desire to reduce the US troops by 5-8000. He announced that talks with the Taliban were being resumed.     

Suicide attack on Bagram airbase on 11 Dec was the biggest attack in the 18-year war causing heavy casualties in men and material. It jolted the US administration as well as Pentagon and impelled them to resume peace talks in real earnest. The 10th round has commenced at Doha but ceasefire and direct talks with Kabul remain the sticking in points.

It is yet not clear whether a breakthrough will be achieved. While the Taliban have so far not hinted at agreeing to ceasefire as claimed by Trump, the spoilers are still active to scuttle peace process.  

In case peace deal is signed and the war torn Afghanistan become peaceful, the biggest losers would be India, puppet regime in Kabul, Israel, Pentagon, US security contractors, drug mafia and Afghan warlords, all of them nurturing mercantile interests. India wants to retain its perverse influence in Kabul so as to draw maximum economic benefits from next door Central Asian States, and to pose twin threat to the security of Pakistan. Regime in Kabul knows that without the crutches of USA, it will fall instantly. Pentagon wants arms industry of military industrial complex to garner maximum profits. Others have their own commercial interests. The US also realizes that control over Eurasia would ensure its world domination.   

These vested entities had egged on George Bush and Obama to remain focused on use of force. They had prevented Obama from making a clean break in December 2014 and compelled him to leave behind Resolute Support Group. Same pressure groups pressurized Trump to increase force level and to drop more bombs in 2018 than ever before. Now they are not letting him to withdraw 15000 US troops and want the war to drag on. He is being scared that complete withdrawal would be catastrophic for the US geo-strategic and geo-economics interests in the region.

They are least concerned that Afghan war has become the longest, bloodiest and deadliest in the US history which has surpassed the toll of the two Great Wars. It has cost $ 2 trillion and 2500 fatalities to USA apart from tens of thousands of injuries caused to the US soldiers and the social trauma suffered by the families of the victims.

The US is mindful of the growing influence of Russia, China and Iran in Afghanistan and their closeness with the Taliban, which is detrimental to its geo-strategic and geo-economic ambitions in this region. China’s BRI project has unnerved the sole super power since it has the potential to make China the leading economic power of the world by 2025. That is why, the US has accelerated trade war with China.

The US had occupied Afghanistan with a view to make it a permanent military garrison and by virtue of its strategic location, be able to meddle into the affairs of China, Russia, Iran, denuclearize Pakistan, oversee Middle East and above all gain monopoly over the resource rich Eurasian belt stretching from Central Asia to the Caspian Sea. It also had eyes on opium and minerals like lithium in Afghanistan.

What is most upsetting for USA is that in spite of spending colossal amount and using excessive force, it has not been able to accomplish single objective. Conversely, it has lost its prestige and élan and today it finds itself in lose-lose situation. It has come to this sorry pass because of its insincerity of purpose, evil designs, and wrong selection of allies that have been pursuing their own selfish agenda.

Another reason is weak and visionless military commanders, overestimating theirs and underestimating the capabilities of foes, painting rosy picture and imagining that they are winning the war. Devoid of fundamental understanding of Afghanistan, they didn’t have foggiest idea as to why they were fighting the purposeless longest war and how to keep their under commands motivated. They didn’t learn any lesson from history that Afghanistan has been the traditional graveyard of super powers where it was easy for the victors to barge in but near impossible to extricate safely. The ghost of Vietnam is now stalking and haunting the very being of Americans operating in Afghanistan.

Even after reaching the edge of precipice, the US leaders are still hoping against hope that they will snatch victory out of the jaws of sure defeat. Gen Nicholson stated in November 2017 that the ANSF would expand control over 80% of Afghan territory in next two years. It was a shot in the dark and devoid of emerging ground realities. Contrary to the claims made by senior US officials that progress was being made in Afghanistan, the fact is that the Taliban have control over 56% of the territory and the rest is contested. The government writ is confined to capital cities only, which are also frequently targeted by the Taliban.

The Washington Post of December 9 has spilled the beans. Quoting official documents, it stated that war is unwinnable, and that the American people have constantly been lied to. The Pentagon papers reveal the impressions of US officials that after toppling Taliban regime, killing Osama bin Laden and dismantling Al-Qaeda with the help of Pakistan, the US had no business to stay on and undermine its reputation. All reports initiated from Kabul to Washington presented “All OK”, whereas on ground nothing was OK.  

Failing to defeat the Taliban in the battleground, the US has been trying to weaken the Taliban by dividing them but failed. Having failed on all fronts, the US instead of taking corrective measures, found Pakistan a convenient scapegoat and held it responsible for all its failures. To hide its embarrassment, it derives some satisfaction by whipping Pakistan. The US is now exerting pressure on Islamabad to force the Taliban to ceasefire, hold direct talks with the regime in Kabul, share power with them, and allow the US to retain few military bases. Or else fight and defeat them.

Pakistan has suffered the most in fighting the US imposed war on terror and servilely abiding to its dictates. It has also produced best results against terrorism, but instead of being rewarded, it is accused, insulted and punished for uncommitted sins. India and Afghanistan have been in the forefront to conduct proxy war as well as propaganda war against Pakistan. On account of policy of appeasement pursued by Pakistan, the trio has been successful in selling its narrative to the world that Pakistan is a terror abetting state and a nursery of terrorism. From the time of Gen Musharraf, Pakistan has been receiving invectives and lashes without a whimper thereby encouraging the real offenders to indulge in one-sided defamation campaign unobtrusively.

The US which is the strategic partner of India and the ruling regime in Kabul has thoroughly misused Pakistan to serve its self-seeking interests. Pakistan was taken on board as a tactical partner for the achievement of short-term objectives but was always regarded as a target. Pakistan has been subjected to series of conspiracies, covert and overt operations for over 16 years relentlessly. In collusion with India, Afghanistan, Israel and the West, the US has now stepped up the hybrid war using all possible kinetic and non-kinetic resources to make Pakistan a compliant state. Billions are being spent on proxies, media, NGOs.  

Pakistan’s economy which is reeling under the weight of mountain of debt is being targeted through IMF and FATF in addition to fomenting bedlam. India’s aggressive posturing since February 24th, followed by the August 5 action in Indian Occupied Kashmir, are being reinforced with series of internal disturbances such as PTM movement, Azadi March led by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, controversial decision given by the Chief Justice regarding extension of the Army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa, students agitations demanding restoration of student unions, and now the lawyers-doctors clash at Lahore. These disturbances are designed to deflect the attention of the world from the sin committed by Modi regime in Kashmir and to destabilize the PTI govt.

Modi’s misadventure in occupied Kashmir is proving costly. The spirits of the Kashmiris locked up since 5 August, denied of basic human rights and subjected to worst torture have not dampened. As predicted, the violent clashes in the northeastern states particularly in Assam in reaction to the recently passed controversial citizenship law, and protests in other parts of India in reaction to Modi regime’s fascism against minorities and craze for Hindutva might prove fatal for the unity of India. Likewise, if Trump further delays the departure of US troops from the inferno of Afghanistan, the end result could be catastrophic.    

The writer is retired Brig Gen, war veteran, defence & security analyst, columnist, author of five books, Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac research Centre, member think tank PESS. asifharoonraja@gmail.com                           

 

 

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Indian air intrusion night 25/26 February 2019

Indian air intrusion night 25/26 February 2019

Background Information. The intelligence agencies of India USA, Israel and the puppet government in Kabul (RAW, CIA, NDS) duly supported by MI-6, Mossad and BND based in Kabul have been targeting Pakistan from Afghanistan as well as Iran from 2003 onward to destabilize, denuclearize, de-Islamize and Balkanize Pakistan. The collaborating agencies have been making use of paid proxies and hybrid war to achieve their objectives. Pakistan security forces after fighting the war on terror for 15 years finally succeeded in chucking out all terrorist groups and restoring peace. Today Pakistan is in a much stronger position to deal with internal and external challenges which have dismayed India and its strategic partners.

Pre-Pulwama Attack Situation

India is highly perturbed over the fast-changing regional scenario which is going in favour of Pakistan and is against the interest of India. Despite India’s best efforts to scuttle CPEC, it is making good progress. Game-changing CPEC has disrupted India’s plan to isolate Pakistan. The US-Taliban peace talks in which India has no role, while Pakistan is playing a key role has upset India. The US plans to strike a peace deal with the Taliban and arrive at a political settlement. The US-NATO troops intend to exit from Afghanistan, which will pave the way for the Taliban to regain power. That would mean decrease if not the termination of Indian influence and increase of Pakistan’s influence in Afghanistan.

The gulf between Pakistan and the Arab Gulf States in the aftermath of the Yemen crisis in 2015 had been quickly filled up by India by getting close to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and UAE. The void has now been filled and bitterness removed after the change of government in Islamabad and quiet diplomacy of Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa. Much to the disappointment of India, old camaraderie between Pakistan and KSA-UAE has been restored. KSA, UAE and Qatar have extended generous financial support and oil on deferred payment to help the new government led by Imran Khan to tide over its economic crisis.

China is continuing to consolidate its strategic relationship with Pakistan and to bolster CPEC. The USA found itself stuck in Afghanistan and wanting to exit safely and honourably is waving an olive oil to Pakistan and extending an offer of a free trade agreement. Amidst the happy tidings for Pakistan, planned high profile visit of Crown Prince M. Bin Salman to Pakistan and then to India and the expected Saudi investment of $20 billion together with setting up of an oil refinery at Gwadar seaport to further boost up CPEC alarmed India. Visit of Afghan Taliban to Islamabad on 17th, hearing of Kalbushan case in ICJ on 18th, crucial meeting of FATF on 18th  for which India was lobbying to put Pakistan in the blacklist, and PSL matches taking place in Karachi-Lahore were other important events in that timeframe.  

Internally, Narendra Modi is facing heavy criticism from the public since he has been unable to fulfil the tall promises he made to the people of India. Instead of uplifting the GDP above 11% as boasted by him, the GDP has dropped below 7% and devaluation of bigger currency notes and taxation have affected the small businessmen and farmers. His extremist policies against the minorities in India and craze to promote Hindutva have declined his popularity and minimized his chances to get re-elected. In Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), Kashmiris have got alienated and Kashmir is fast slipping out of the hands of India owing to oppressive policies of BJP government.

Moreover, the atrocities of Indian security forces are now being noticed with concern by the international community, the UN and even the saner elements in India. Modi is feeling frustrated that he has failed to overawe Pakistan through his aggressive tactics, keeping the Line of Control hot by carrying out repeated violations (300 in 2016, over 1900 violations in 2017 and that many in 2018), resorting to water terrorism and hurling threats to break Pakistan into four pieces. Much to his distress, the electoral loss of BJP in five states has panicked him.

 

 

 

It was in the backdrop of series of upsetting developments for Modi when seen in context with approaching elections in India in May 2019 that it was apprehended that he might resort to some sort of misadventure with a view to infuse fresh life into his election campaign, distract the attention of the world from IOK, find an excuse to further step up ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Muslims, change the demography of Kashmir Valley, drum up old narrative that Pakistan is abetting terrorism in Kashmir and isolate Pakistan diplomatically. It became all the more crucial because of the planned visit of Crown Prince on 16-17 February.

Pulwama Attack

On 14 February, a suicide bomber rammed his car filled with explosive into the military convoy in Pulwama (part of Jammu in IOK) killing 40 Indian CRPF soldiers. Within minutes of the occurrence, India blamed Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and Pakistan without even carrying out preliminary investigations.

Possibilities Open

  1. False flag operation by India.
  2. Indigenous suicide attack by Mujahideen.
  3. Pakistan sponsored attack.

False Flag Operation. India has mastered the art of false flag operations and has been using it frequently to project itself as the victim of terrorism (attack on Indian Parliament in 2001, Mumbai attacks in 2008, Pathankot and Uri attacks in 2016). Indian leaders utter lies without any qualm and have been consistently cooking up fake stories to malign Pakistan. Need for engineering an attack was felt by the BJP to garner the votes of Hindu Far Right, to dampen the visit of Crown Prince in Pakistan and to colour his perceptions. Most probably.   

Indigenous Attack. The way the Kashmiris are being oppressed, killed, maimed, tortured, raped and humiliated since 1989 by Indian forces and are being denied the right of self-determination gives them a strong cause to resort to the extreme measure of suicide attacks. Even the children and girls throw stones at the Indian soldiers and do not fear them. Adil was among the many who were detained, tortured and made to rub nose on the floor. This option is probable but doesn’t suit India.

Pakistan Sponsored Attack. Pakistan draws no benefit and stands to lose on all accounts particularly when its national policy and strategy is defensive, and has shown extraordinary restraint in the face of Indian indiscriminate firing along the LoC causing deaths and injuries to a large number of civilians. Pakistan has paid a heavy price in controlling terrorism, it is making concerted efforts to get itself out of the FATF grey list and its main focus is on improving the economy. Hence this option is unviable and ruled out but suits India the most.

Orchestrated War Hysteria

From February 14 onward, Indian media stimulated a calculated hysteria duly augmented by BJP hawks. Drums of war were drummed and slogan of ‘teach Pakistan a lesson’ was loudly chanted. Options of how best to avenge the attack in Pulwama were openly discussed on Indian media channels. Kashmiris were hunted all over in Jammu and Indian cities, killed, thrashed and girls kidnapped. The state machinery backed up the goons belonging to RSS, BJP, Shiv Sena and other extremist Hindu groups. Additional 12000 troops were inducted into the already saturated Kashmir Valley to further tyrannize the Kashmiris.

It was owing to jingoism of India that the Crown Prince delayed his visit to Pakistan by one day and visit of the Taliban to Islamabad was also cancelled. Highly successful visit of the Crown Prince to Islamabad followed by failure of Modi to extract a statement from the visitor advising Pakistan to rein in Pakistan-based terrorist groups allegedly involved in Pulwama attack thoroughly disappointed him.

Failure of UNSC to blame and condemn Pakistan, rejection of Indian accusation against Pakistan in Pulwama attack by Turkey, and Trump desisting from pointing a finger at Pakistan further upset Modi. Wholehearted support of Indian Sikhs to the marooned Kashmiris added to Modi’s woes.

Since Modi had stirred up the emotions of Hindu extremists to a high pitch and they were baying for Pakistan’s blood, he was left with no option other than undertaking some kind of a token strike inside Pakistan to pacify them. Weighing the pros and cons of each option short of war and with no human cost, it was decided to opt for air option against a civilian target under the garb of striking an imaginary training camp of JeM.           

Pakistan’s Readiness

Contrary to Modi’s warmongering and irresponsible statements, PM Imran Khan gave a balanced and mature response by offering peace and dialogue and at the same time curtly stating that “Pakistan will not think to react but will react”. Chairing the NSC meeting, he authorized the military to react with full force whenever attacked. Gen Bajwa made it clear that the Pak Army’s response will be beyond Indian expectations and will stun India. The message was loud and clear; “don’t mess up with nuclear Pakistan”! In a meeting between the Army and PAF chiefs on 25 February, they expressed satisfaction over the operational preparedness of armed forces for a befitting response to any Indian aggression.

All the three services, as well as the air defence, carried out necessary preparations to face the possible Indian threat. The PAF started flying combat air patrols (CAP) in a rotation along the eastern and northwestern borders. 

Sensing the ugly mood, Pakistan Foreign Minister expressed his apprehensions to his counterparts of other countries that India is up to something nasty and it must be restrained from undertaking a military venture against nuclear Pakistan since it will have horrendous consequences.

Indian Air Intrusions

On the night of 25/26 February, one of the CAP observed Indian jets flying towards Lahore-Sialkot border. Although it turned back when challenged, I guess it was probably a deception to distract attention from the main strike. The next batch of jets was observed by another CAP along Okara-Bahawalpur front across the border which was also a diversion. The 3rd   heavy batch of Mirage-2000s was next spotted by the CAP approaching Muzaffarabad sector-Kiran Valley. They crossed the LoC from Tangdhar salient opposite Balakot sector and penetrated 4-5 miles at 0345 a.m. When challenged by the CAP, the jets flew back in haste at 0350 a.m. after jettisoning their payload of 4 bombs at Jabba. The bombs fell at a deserted place causing no human casualty or damage to property except for uprooting some pine trees. It was not an attack on any military target but an intrusion which sought a civilian target.

Claims made by India. True to its tradition, India has claimed that the attacking jets successfully targeted JeM camps in Balakot, each bomb weighing 1000 kg and in their 21 minutes operation, they killed 350 militants and destroyed a madrassa supposed to be a training centre of JeM. The claim is preposterous, fictitious and entirely based on a figment of imaginations. This claim is similar to the one invented after the fake surgical strike conducted in AJK in September 2016, which has not been proved to this date. Indians are foolishly celebrating the fabricated victory and deriving a vicarious pleasure.

DG ISPR Press Briefing. The DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor conducted an elaborate press briefing today and with the help of slides, he exposed the fake story woven by India. He has extended an open invitation to the local and foreign media persons as well as diplomats to accompany him to the scene of occurrence and see for themselves and to interview the locals whether any area had been bombed/strafed by jets and whether there was any trace of human blood, or any evacuation or burial of dead bodies was carried out, and whether there was a single brick found from the debris where the bombs had landed. He stated that the Pakistan military’s response will come definitely and will be different and will surprise India.

Pakistan’s Response

Indian incursion has united the divided society and the polarized political parties. A large number of rallies have taken place in various cities to denounce Indian aggression. The nation has gelled together to face the Indian challenge squarely. The National Assembly and all the provincial assemblies have censured the blatant intrusion of Indian jets and have extended their full support to the armed forces. The PM chaired the NSC meeting today in which it was decided that a credible response will soon be given at the time and place of our choosing. After the joint parliament session tomorrow, a meeting of National Command Authority will be held.

Until and unless Pakistan gives a hard-hitting response, it will encourage India to undertake similar air violations on the pattern of ground violations in Kashmir. On the diplomatic front, we should make a similar noise as is being done by Indian media and their leaders.

The writer is a retired Brig, a war veteran, defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, Member CWC PESS. asifharoonraja@gmail.com   

           

                      

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Restrictions imposed on social media by Brig.Gen (Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

Restrictions imposed on social media

Brig.Gen (Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

 

 

When I was serving as Director Psychological Operations (PsyOps) in GHQ way back in the early 1990s, I had the privilege of revolutionizing this neglected subject and upgrading its significance in the Army in a big way for the first time. The then Army Chief Gen Asif Nawaz backed my efforts. I had argued that while the armed forces prepared itself during peacetime for the future war by carrying out intensive physical, technical, educational, operational and administrative training and procuring weapon systems in order to defeat the enemies on the battlefield, When proxy war failed to achieve its objectives, the subversive war was further stepped up which is now being termed as hybrid war. It has been made more lethal by adding social media to heighten political polarization and to sharpen the existing divides and to create tensions in civil-military relations. Besides Indian water terrorism, Indo-US-Afghan aggressive tactics are aimed at creating chaos and melting down Pakistan’s economy. remain operative both during peace and wartime to supplement war effort.

Peace time psy ops are akin to pre-H Hour artillery bombardment to soften the adversary from within. The only difference is that the bombardment is noisy and can be responded through counter bombardment, but in case of PSYOPS, the deceptive and pain-free stings and arrows aimed at subverting and controlling the minds are silent and invisible. It is slow-poisoning of the minds to shatter the will to fight. 

Pakistan had gone through the painful experience of the 1971 tragedy in which India had made maximum use of Psy Ops to brainwash the Bengalis. It took Indian psychological operators 23 years of sustained efforts to subvert the minds of the Bengalis and make them love India and detest West Pakistan. All that time, we kept sleeping and didn’t take note of the building storm. Indo-Bengali poisonous propaganda was not countered and no effort was made to show the true face of Hindus who in connivance with the British had turned the Muslim nobility of East Bengal into servitude and had made the region the most impoverished region of united India during the British rule.

Bifurcation of Bengal and making Calcutta part of West Bengal in 1947 further worsened the socio-economic plight of East Bengal. Our successive rulers failed to address the genuine grievances of eastern province and above all to integrate the two widely apart provinces because of which the gap kept widening. The germs of Bengali nationalism were first stoked through language riots in 1953 followed by political and economic deprivations. The youth was systematically indoctrinated by Hindu teachers and professors. In the final act of the drama, Indian protégé Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was given a free hand to build Bengali nationalism and to foment hatred against West Pakistan. Once the small-sized Pak military force lost the support of Bengalis, East Pakistan became a ripe apple to be plucked and it became easier for the Indian military to intervene and win the war on the East front.

After the creation of Bangladesh, RAW turned its attention towards Sindh and Baluchistan but we once again failed to checkmate subversion of the two provinces. By early 1990s, Sindh had turned into a wounded province due to urban-rural divide, while Baluchistan had gone through a full-fledged insurgency in the 1970s. RAW also had a hand in keeping the Pashtunistan issue alive and its footprints were seen in the Saraiki belt. I reminded the policymakers in the Army about the dangers of subversion and the need for a counter plan to thwart its ill effects on the society both at the Army and national levels.  

Indian Psy Ops were aimed at fomenting misgivings, disillusionment, hatred, ethnicity, sectarianism, religious extremism, political polarization, intensifying love for materialism and contaminating the moral turpitude of the society, the effects of which had also seeped into the armed forces. The ultimate aim was to weaken the willpower of the armed forces to fight. All these trends intensified in the 1990s.

India and Pakistan have and continue to have ‘issues’ – skirmishes and confrontation exist over the disputed Kashmir area.

Indian PSYOPS is not well known nor overtly advertised. It is housed within the Indian Army Intelligence Corps.

 

  

 

 

 

I held a strong view that no amount of tangible factors will help until and unless the intangibles are also strengthened to build up morals, patriotism and nationalism in the armed forces as well as the society as a whole that had become vulnerable to foreign subversion. I highlighted the need to create awareness about the pitfalls of this silent war in which India had gained substantial expertise. I had given a workable plan to develop defensive and offensive PSYOPS. Had a national Psy Ops Cell been established in 1993 as suggested by me and approved by the GHQ, we would have been in a better position to confront the ongoing hybrid war. 

After 9/11, India teamed up with the US, Israel, the West and the puppet Afghan regime and launched a massive covert war coupled with subversive war to destabilize, denuclearize, secularize and balkanize Pakistan.

It is now an established fact that the US enabled Gen Musharraf regime in 2002 to expand and modernize Pak electronic media by doling out millions of dollars. Most leading media houses were purchased by foreign powers to promote their agenda of demonizing Islam, liberalizing the society, promoting obscenity and vulgarity and deflecting the youth towards a life of fun and frolic. Media was misused to sell tutored perceptions, to clone the minds of the elites, foment extremism, divide the society, and breed extreme hatred. The secular-Islamic divide was widened. 

Purchased proxies were used to destabilize FATA, settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan. Urban terrorism was ignited with the help of Blackwater, CIA-FBI network, MQM and NGOs duly aided by their toadies.

Army, Rangers, FC and Police had to make sustained efforts from 2009 onward to rollback rural and urban terrorism but at a heavy cost and much to the grief of adversaries of Pakistan. Today, Pakistan can confidently claim that the back of foreign-supported terrorist groups has been comprehensively broken and there is no network or safe haven anywhere in the northwest. Likewise, the militancy of MQM has been busted and the separatist movement in Baluchistan reined in.

Notwithstanding these outstanding achievements that have been acknowledged by the world, the terrorist groups based in Afghanistan in concert with their handlers, facilitators and financiers in Pakistan are still able to carry out random attacks. Nationwide Operation Raddul Fasad coupled with fencing of western border and gradual implementation of National Action Plan are taking care of these aspects adequately.

When proxy war failed to achieve its objectives, the subversive war was further stepped up which is now being termed as hybrid war. It has been made more lethal by adding social media to heighten political polarization and to sharpen the existing divides and to create tensions in civil-military relations. Besides Indian water terrorism, Indo-US-Afghan aggressive tactics are aimed at creating chaos and melting down Pakistan’s economy.

The Army is neither equipped nor has the expertise and capacity to fight back the hybrid war in which electronic and social media are playing a lead role. So far, no plan has been made to counter this menace. As a consequence, the inaudible and concealed hybrid war has been going on unabatedly unchecked.

Unfortunately, the veterans have bolstered the negativity of social media. Instead of behaving maturely, in their exuberance to exhibit love for Pak Army and their parent units, they have been adding fuel to the deplorable media war between the Patwaris (PML-N lovers) and Youthias (PTI lovers), each trying to gun down the other and intensifying intolerance. The disgruntled veterans are using this platform to air their grouses and have crossed all limits of decency by going to the extent of passing filthy comments against each other. The majority which is tilted toward the PTI has been passing loathsome remarks, unbecoming of a gentleman.

As if this was not enough, they divulge information about the happenings in the combat zones. Some have been passing details about ongoing operations much before the desired details could reach GHQ. In some cases, the media received information about an incident in greater details than what was received by GHQ. On occasions, the media pressed the ISPR to confirm the information that is collected from social media and the ISPR couldn’t answer back. This has been happening since some young officers deployed in the combat zones shared information with their retired seniors, or relatives, or in the social media groups run by veterans in which hate-filled articles of civil writers are also shared and lauded.

WhatsApp Groups run by retired unit officers in particular mindlessly divulge names and location of units and officers and intimate details of activities of their units. Likewise, all promotion and postings of senior officers are flashed. Senior veterans taking part in TV talk at times display their political biases and many times have to face embarrassing situations.

No heed was paid by the veterans to several warnings issued by the GHQ. It was also learnt that India, in particular, had penetrated most groups. Facebook is already controlled by RAW from Pune and by the Jews. In the wake of the veterans displaying lack of sense of security and becoming a security hazard and an embarrassment for the Army, the GHQ was compelled to debar serving Army officers and re-employed retired officers from taking part in social media. Restrictions have now been imposed upon the veterans on use of WhatsApp, Twitter and Veterans Groups operative in social media. Retired officers operating groups having military signatures, or created on the basis of military affiliations such as PMA Courses, parent units, staff courses etc have been told to close them or change the title nomenclatures.   

Some of the veterans have resented the move, arguing it shouldn’t be applicable to the retired officers. One by the name of Brig retired Syed Hanif Ahmed has recently circulated his vitriolic write-up on social media, terming the decision as illogical and stupid. While the saner people all across the globe are raising their voices against the hazards of social media which is dividing the families, he has termed the social media as a necessity. In his view, social media helps in keeping the family connected, and in maintaining a bond between the serving and retired officers. He forgets that this bond had been happily kept intact before the birth of social media.

In his jaundiced view, growing bondage between a unit and retired officers and families because of WhatsApp has vexed the senior military leadership. To give vent to his feelings and the questions, “Are we traitors, or are doing something illogical and immoral”? So far, his identity has not been found out and it seems he is fake. In any case, the sort of language he has used is regrettable. Chairman Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society Lt Gen Amjad Shuaib has deplored it and has viewed the GHQ decision as most appropriate.

In my view, this decision should have been taken much earlier. But as they say, it is never too late. The berserk social media which has of late added another evil in the form of ‘Tip Top’, it needs to be bridled. Likewise, the electronic media which has gone bonkers requires disciplining. Anchors have become omniscient jabbers, firing hate-filled salvos on those whom they don’t like, and trying to influence the minds of decision makers.

To effectively fight the 5th generation war, the policymakers will have to take tough measures. I reckon plans are afoot to strengthen toothless PMRA and make it an effective regulatory authority that can put sense into a wayward approach of media. There is an urgent need to ensure that all avenues of foreign funding to media houses are closed, and all anchors and journalists on the payroll of foreign agencies weeded out. Our media which has become a tool in the hands of adversaries of Pakistan should be streamlined and made into the 4th pillar of the state.

The writer is a retired Brig, a war veteran, defence and security analyst, and author of five books. asifharoonraja@gmail.com   

                                

 

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Radicalization trends in South Asia Brig (Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

Radicalization trends in South Asia

Asif Haroon Raja

Geostrategic Importance of South Asia

South Asia is house to around 1.5 billion people who represent one-quarter of the world’s population; with a high growth rate of population. and scarcity of resources collectively creates opportunities for socio-political, and economic instability resulting into conflicts.

This vast region is sandwiched between the great mountain chains and the Indian Ocean. In the north and northeast, it is surrounded by mighty Himalayan mountain ranges, while in the north-west by the Karakorum, the Hindu Kush and Makran ranges. In the east, it is enclosed by Purvanchal Hills and Bay of Bengal, while in the south it penetrates into the Indian Ocean and in the south-west by the Arabian Sea.

Politically the entire South-Asian region has witnessed convulsive politics in the last seven decades. The causes are mainly religious, linguistic, castes, ethnic and economic disparities and uneven resource distribution. Another cause of political turbulence is mutual suspicion and mistrust and a lack of confidence in each other’s motives and intentions.

The disputes among South Asian countries have remained an area of unresolved and dangerous conflict involving external powers, arms proliferation and ethnic and religious hatred that go back to the evolution of India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, the countries that form South Asia.

 

Due to its strategic location and natural wealth, the region has acquired a very important position from a geostrategic point of view. While India taking advantage of her size, diplomatic clout, military power and economic strength, has all along striven to dominate South Asia, external powers such as Russia, USA and China in their quest for geostrategic and geo-economic ambitions, seek to engage South Asian countries as well as with neighboring regions rich in energy resources.

 

The politics of violence and extremism in South Asia is mainly the result of faulty national policies and interference of external powers. The region’s vast potential is hostage to unresolved inter-state conflicts, mostly left behind by Britain and now being exploited by India which considers itself to be the successor of former colonial power which ruled and plundered the resources of this region for 200 years. The USA which filled the power vacuum after 1947 has also been meddling into the affairs of South Asia in its quest for attainment of global ambitions.

Indian Factor

One reason behind South Asia’s backwardness and rise in extremist tendencies is the imperialist designs of India which has all along aspired to create mythical Akhand Bharat. While dealing with neighbours much smaller in size, resources and military strength, India is always in a mood to bully, to terrorise and to dictate terms.

The favourite means employed by India to make the defiant neighbour bend to its dictates are diplomatic pressure, economic blackmail, military coercion and application of the military instrument. It also resorts to sabotage and subversion abets insurgency and uses Kautylian tactics such as propaganda war, disinformation, deception and false flag operations.  

India’s Contribution to ISIS

India has trained RAW in this game and over a period of time, it claims to have excelled in the art of disinformation campaign, espionage and subversion. There is no country in its neighbourhood which has not been jolted by India through immoral methods, be it Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan and Tibet.  Pakistan has suffered the most at its hand and continues to endure.

SAARC which could have played a big role in the economic development of South Asia is in limbo due to Indian unilateralism.

Editor’s Note: Indian Intelligence RAW has also sent fighters to ISIS on pre-condition they attack Pakistan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frenetic modernization of Indian armed forces and India’s expansionist designs have compelled the South Asian states to spend a sizeable part of the budget in upgradation of defence capability.   

 

Lackadaisical Role of Governments

 


In addition, instead of promoting unity and integration (both at national and regional levels) it led to ethnic solidarities and identification with religion and culture.

Role of Masterminds

Terrorism grows enormously when powerful nations do injustice with the developing nations by gobbling up their resources or keeping the weaker nations under their thumb through neo-colonization. The easiest way is to buy the loyalties of the ruling class of the third world, which readily toes the dictated line of the Masterminds to stay in power and get out of sync with the public. Humanity has been trapped by Criminal Masterminds which is causing Global Poverty and Artificial Global Famine.

Poverty Exploited

Deliberately injected poverty in selected countries/regions pave the way for breeding grounds for the youth to deflect towards Global Terrorism and Global Crimes. Poverty and famine tend to make the poverty-stricken people to do anything for little money for their survival. Masterminds can easily find them, twist them including their beliefs/faiths and forcefully use them according to their own desire.

In every targeted country after 9/11, proxies were hired to create disturbances and topple regimes. Hired mercenaries were from the derived class. The purpose of this gory drama on part of the Masterminds is to rob the wealth of the globalized world in stages.

Wars fought on fake narratives

Masterminds also fool their citizens and create a scenario to prove that war is inevitable and war must be fought at all cost. Hidden motive behind all wars is to run their war-related businesses and become richer than ever before.

Many wars in the past were based on lies. Warmongers fooled their own citizens, e.g. Vietnam War, Gulf War on the issue of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. EBOLA, SARS, AIDS & Chicken Pox could be biological weapons to wipe out people in other parts of the world as well as creating artificial famine. 

Americans have lived under the broken umbrella of an empire controlled by 1% dirty rich that cares not to protect the overwhelming majority. They live under the auspices of a regime that spends half of the common people hard earned tax dollars on phoney wars, illegal foreign occupations and excessive militarism at home. Tens of thousands are lucky to afford the bare necessities of life.

Israel in the Middle East and India in South Asia are the cat paws of imperialist USA. The jingoistic trio is committing worst human rights abuses and state terrorism. 

 

Grave Threats Faced by South Asia

The South Asian region currently faces a grave security threat due to increasing extremism and terrorist activities. The politics of violence and extremist trends in South Asia can be linked to the contradictions arising as a consequence of faulty national policies.

The nature and political economy of the states have been instrumental in creating the current crisis. The South Asian states tend to operate in the interests of a coalition of classes and ethnic groups, thereby influencing development policies and the distribution of resources. The pace, content and dynamics of the uneven development patterns in South Asia are among the predominant causes of violence in the region.

Besides the failure of transition to modernity among these South Asian states, political culture has also led to ethnic solidarities and identification with religion and culture.

Interference from external powers and from neighbouring and extra-regional elements (both governments and independent groups) has given a dangerous tilt to the existing volatile situation.

With the marked rise of extremism and increasing terrorist activities, particularly in the past decade, South Asia is among the regions in the world with the highest annual number of fatalities caused by terrorist violence. Ethnic, ideological and political conflicts pose a serious threat to stability and interstate relations.

Each state faces multiple concerns ranging from fundamentalists to ethnopolitical violence, which is consolidating along with the worsening socio-economic conditions.

The situation has become all the more dangerous and alarming in the wake of nuclearisation of two arch-rivals India and Pakistan and unresolved Kashmir dispute which has become a nuclear flashpoint. Indo-US-Afghan-Israel nexus offensively poised against nuclear Pakistan fighting an internal war on terror and confronted with economic and political challenges finds itself in a dangerous situation but is determined to deal with any military adventure squarely.  

 

War on terror initiated by the USA to make the world safe and secure has intensified extremism and terrorism and today the world has become more unsafe and insecure.

 

Causation of Growth of Extremism

 

Terrorism and the rise of extremism have been occurring in South Asia for a variety of reasons, including perpetration by tyrannical and aggressive regimes and rebel groups, social injustice, ideological contradictions, religious beliefs and foreign interference. However, deteriorating socio-economic conditions, government policies and outside interference in all South Asian countries have been the primary factors responsible for the rise of extremism in the region. Terrorism and its political consequences have directly and visibly affected interstate relations in South Asia and have also led to destabilization in the region.

Main Causes. The main causes of Extremism are appended below:

 

Poor economic growth along with high population growth has led to the problems of mass unemployment, hunger and income inequality.

 

The economic inequalities and deprivation have created frustration and insecurity among the masses, leading to an increasing criminalization of society in which there are available targets for exploitation by the extremist elements in and outside the governments.

 

Along with the deteriorating economies of South Asia, governmental policies have accentuated the extremist trend in all these states.

 

Extra-regional actors are primarily responsible for the ongoing wave of terrorism and rising extremism.

 

The extremist trends have been boosted in the South Asian countries due to the interference by the neighbouring and extra-regional countries in the internal affairs of the states.

 

The separatist and ethnic movements have also been supported from across the border, by the governments or any particular group, for its interests.  

 

The Bangla national movement in 1971, which resulted in the partition of Pakistan and formation of Bangladesh, could not have succeeded without the physical military intervention of India aided by the former Soviet Union.

 

Sri Lanka too is an old victim of Indian machinations and Tamil Tigers insurgency was Indian manufactured. Similarly, the Maoists in Nepal are known to have collaboration and sponsorship from India.

 

The Kashmiri freedom movement in India has received only moral, political and diplomatic support from Pakistan since its hands have been tied by new laws on terrorism. Indian forces are breaking all records of state terrorism and human rights to quell popular unarmed uprising seeking the right of self-determination.  

 

Pakistan has a bagful of concrete evidence of India’s RAW deep-rooted involvement in Baluchistan, FATA and Karachi. Indian leaders have often bragged about it and are threatening Pakistan to break it into four pieces. Besides covert operations, India is resorting to water terrorism to make Pakistan dry.

 

Governed by mutual strategic interests, India is being fully supported by the USA, Israel, the West and Afghanistan to destroy Pakistan.

 

 

The Growth of Extremism in Pakistan

 

There were several factors and events that have led to extremism, sectarianism and terrorism in Pakistan. These factors include:

 

  • The early demise of Quaid-e-Azam and murder of Liaqat Ali Khan resulted in a leadership crisis, which persists to this day.

 

  • Uneven development of provinces and growth of regionalism gave rise to fissiparous tendencies and strengthened centrifugal forces in smaller provinces.

 

  • Insensitivity and callous attitude of the elites towards the deprived class bred resentment.

 

  • Selective accountability and pro-rich judicial system added to the frustration of the have-nots.

 

  • Corruption in all government, judicial and police departments eroded moral turpitude and scruples.

 

  • Unresolved Kashmir dispute and State terrorism of India against Kashmiris heightened Jihadi tendencies.

 

  • Western hatred towards Muslims and hounding and persecution of religious elements dubbed as terrorists intensified anti-US feelings.

 

  • Promotion of western values and demeaning of Islam by liberals, sharpened secular-Islamist divide.

 

  • Divisive education system provided unequal opportunities for social growth.

 

  • The impact of regional events like the Iranian revolution, Afghan Jihad and emergence of Taliban.

 

  • Impact of Freedom Struggle in Kashmir and Palestine issue.

 

  • Unresolved Kashmir dispute which has resulted in three major wars and several local conflicts and has led to the nuclearization of South Asia.

 

  • To counter Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in 1979, the United States supported and sponsored Pakistan and also the Jihadi groups during the period 1979-1989, which in post-1990 period became a threat for the security and stability of Pakistan.

 

  • After Soviet withdrawal and diminishing of US interests in the region, Pakistan was left in a complete lurch for dealing with the menace of terrorism and extremism spread over the decade of its war against Soviets.

 

  • With the 9/11 incident, Pakistan once again became a frontline state in the war against terrorism. The renewed interference by the US in Pakistan and Pakistan’s support against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan once again aggravated the extremist and anti-US elements, having extensive implications on the internal security situation.

 

  • The US initiated war on terror in Afghanistan was purposely fomented in Pakistan with ulterior motives to destabilize, secularize, denuclearize and balkanize Pakistan.

 

  • Unstable Afghanistan was used as a base of operation to achieve the objectives against Pakistan through massive covert war and hybrid war.

 

Way Forward

 

War is not an option in which economy dies again and again, BUT Love is, which starts with forgiveness as mentioned in the Quran, (Ref: Al_Quran_041:035).

South Asian countries should assume the responsibility for internal reforms, avoid extremism and confrontation and ensure economic and social development, through ensuring respect for human right and paying special attention to human resource development programs.

 

The West particularly the United States should seek to resolve all political disputes that become breeding grounds of terrorism, reject equating Islam with terrorism and assist the Muslim world in poverty alleviation and socio-economic development.

 

Socio-economic problems and human security issues need to be accorded the highest priority by governments, as these are the main cause of frustration among the masses and particularly among the educated and unemployed youth, who become easy recruits for radical organizations which involve them in their terrorist activities. In addition to individual state efforts to deal with extremism, a concerted regional effort is also required as the problem has an additional external dimension to it.

There is no shortcut to eradicating regional problems since they are the result of a consistent and gradual failure of the state to deal with the issue of public security and grievances, and also the failure of society to curb tendencies of extremism and intolerance. Without formulating a comprehensive approach to deal with the issue of extremism at the state, society and regional level, the menace of radicalism cannot be eradicated.

There is dire need to address root causes of extremism and terrorism by providing an equitable social and economic order and just judicial system at the global level.

It is time for Global World to wake up and be careful from Mastermind Criminals/Terrorists and prevent humanity from those by joining Global Unity without any discrimination of Religion, Race, Sect, Gender, Color, Nationality, Rich, Poor, Young or Old etc. Otherwise, they could be next in line.

To Protect World from Criminals/Terrorists which is causing Global Poverty and Artificial Global Famine as well, we must understand Criminal Masterminds, and we must find the roots of all Crimes, starting from Mother Womb till the Grave.

It is not Wealth (Gold or Silver etc.) or Power which can save the Global World. Allah seized Qaroon, Pharaoh, and Hamaan and many more, for their crimes against humanity and nothing could save them, not even their wealth, power, or people, etc., (Ref: Al_Quraan_029:039). The World didn’t end there, but it re-developed after a Great Revolution.

One sure way of curbing extremist tendencies is China’s policy of peace and friendship and connectivity through One Belt One Road project of which CPEC is the fulcrum, for collective growth and development of the region.

The writer is a retired Brig, a war veteran, defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre. Email: asifharoonraja@gmail.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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